Senator Dill, Representative O’Neil, and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, my name is Sarah Nichols, and I am the Sustainable Maine Director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine. I appreciate this opportunity to testify in support of LD 155.
NRCM is supporting this bill because we believe that it would help to protect citizens, pollinators, wildlife, and waters—which are all so critical to our health, quality of life, and economic prosperity—from the effects of unnecessary pesticide application and runoff.
According to MRSA 22 §1471-X, which was passed into law in 1997, “It is the policy of the State to work to find ways to use the minimum amount of pesticides needed to effectively control targeted pests in all areas of application.” It is easy and appropriate to minimize pesticides that are used for cosmetic purposes, meaning for looks rather than for food production, that have reasonable and less-toxic alternatives, as LD 155 proposes. More than 30 municipalities all over the state have taken action on their own to pass local ordinances designed to limit pesticide and/or herbicide application in their communities because they feel that they are not getting the protection and support of the State government. This narrowly focused proposal would complement and bolster their efforts by reducing chemicals in their own and nearby communities.
NRCM finds that LD 155 is an evidence-based, elegant approach to limiting the use of certain pesticides that are the most harmful and environmentally pervasive to our native bees and butterflies. It allows for common-sense exemptions while restricting use in outdoor residential applications—which is much less restrictive than an outright ban of these chemicals. We urge you to join us in support of this bill.